Next to abiding, it is everything!

“What has touched me most since I have been in discipleship?”

I was asked this question one night at dinner, with a group of people that were making disciples.  Intentionality, definitely, intentionality was my answer! Being intentional, to sow time into someone, to purpose to lay down your life, and walk out someone else’s freedom with them, and to equip them to walk out the only thing that really matters - abiding, freedom and multiplying!

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The Lord reminded me while we were sharing stories, around the dinner table, of when I first got saved.  He reminded me of what a mess my heart was and how a gentleman offered me Jesus, but no discipleship. He offered me friendship, but no discipleship.  He offered me mentorship, but still no discipleship. At that time I was living in Texas with my husband, David, and when we left there, I was still a mess, and oh so lost!  

Through the years of sharing my testimony, I would say, “I accepted Jesus to the best of my understanding, but had no clue what that meant, and I had no one to disciple me”.  In saying that, I really had no clue how true and vital that missing piece was. What would the four years that followed me accepting Jesus have looked like, if I had been discipled?  If I would have understood I had a purpose to be discipled, and to make disciples?

Fast forward to two years ago.  There is an unsettling stirring in me.  The status quo is killing me! There has to be more, why so stagnant, oh my soul?!  There has to be more!

During this time, we had an opportunity to move to Florida, and we did just that.  The Lord showed me that one of the main motivating factors in saying yes to moving to Florida, was my hunger to grow in Him again.  To abide, to hear, to obey, to have the adventure with Him, like I did in the beginning, after I made Him Lord of my life.

I couldn’t seem to get out of this complacent mindset as long as I was in my “comfort zone” and “doing church”.  I needed to be stretched and challenged. I was so sick and tired of church as usual. Tired of seeing people hurting, and we would pray for them, and they would leave hurting, and tired of not knowing how to make that different.  So I would walk with them, (mentor/friendship) hoping that “my love” would somehow help, but knowing it only seemed to take them so far, and it was a far cry from freedom. I had so much frustration on so many levels.

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So in moving halfway across the country, where I knew no one, I knew I would be forced to rely on God in a way I wasn’t currently.  My heart was so longing for it, for the “white hot faith” I experienced in my early days, when all that really mattered to me was The Kingdom and Jesus!  So we moved… for TWO whole weeks (that is a whole other story!) The Lord showed me that with the issues I was hiding, that I would not have grown in Florida.  

I needed to be around the people who knew me, who loved me enough to hold my feet to the fire.  If we had stayed in Florida, it would have taken exponentially longer to fully come out from behind the veil, and trust Jesus with my whole heart, and not hide.  The “hiding” wouldn't have been as noticable. It would have wore the mask of “unknown/unfamiliar”, while I was living in Florida.

I was absolutely taken aback at dinner and during worship with these disciple makers, of God’s love and pursuit of me at every juncture; even to the point of moving halfway across the country and then after only two weeks, Him bringing me back to Grace Church. Of Him loving me enough to woo me, to tear down all the lies I’d believed, helping me connect all these dots, and understand all the frustration I’d been feeling, putting words to my shepherd’s heart, and bringing understanding to ALL the gifts, (yes even mine) helping me settle into how He created me.  All I could do is thank Him for continuing to settle me into this expression of Us.

A prayer of thanks was bubbling up…. Abba, thank You for answering my questions of what all this discipleship stuff is about!  Next to abiding with You, it is everything! You are such a faithful Daddy!! Ask and you shall receive. Thank You for allowing me to have questions and walking those out with me, Jesus!  Holy Spirit, thank you for teaching me all things and reminding me of all things!

Thank you Gretchen Cannon for loving me, walking with me, calling me up!

Thank you Chris and Rachel Moix for your obedience, your white hot faith that absolutely flows out of you and for bringing this “discipleship” movement to Eastern Oklahoma County!  

Written by Jody Brown